Have you ever walked into the office in the morning and said, “today I am going to be playful and silly!”?
I admire you if you have tried in the past! In fact, if you have, email me the details and I will gift one coaching session to the first person to share. I value courage, playfulness, and creativity!
One of my clients, Christoph Winterbach, initially said to me he wanted to be more creative and playful in both his professional and personal life. This is actually a very common request that I hear!
He recalls that “at the beginning of the session, I felt exhausted, aimless, overwhelmed by tasks that seemingly held me back from my top priorities: music and sports.”
Christoph works in Europe’s biggest journalism company, and the interesting thing with high-performers– athletes, leaders, and entrepreneurs– is that the intersection of learning, challenge, and creative expression brings about the experience we call being in the zone.
Or as I call it, Success is a State of Being™. This is my guide to help leaders create the ongoing experience of success, flow, and being in the zone. However, I am not interested in helping you experience being in the zone from time to time but for you to create your entire life as an experience of being in the zone. Not as an event that happens from time to time but as a moment-by-moment experience.
Have you ever experienced being in the zone?
As high performers, we love to learn; one reason it’s common for us to work with coaches, mentors, and teachers.
We love to challenge ourselves.
And well, performance is actually a creative expression for high performers.
Being in the zone requires creativity.
Creating your success as a state of being requires you to be eternally creative.
Creativity is a way for us to gain energy, and express ourselves and our talent. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
On the flip side, suppressing your creative expression leads to exhaustion, lack of self-expression which limits your ability to lead, and poor use of your talent.
Brene Brown said, “Unused creativity is not benign.” I agree and will add that it is also the thief of your freedom!
And what about playfulness?
Play is the seed of learning or as Albert Einstein said,
“Play is the ultimate form of research.”
I know first-hand the beauty and need of creativity and playfulness — as an avid learner I am constantly researching. Research is my ultimate form of play; I like to say. Do you feel this way sometimes?
Now, how do you think I helped Christoph to be more creative and playful professionally and personally?
Create your environment! Make sure that you create a work environment for yourself that puts you in a playful state. An environment that makes you beam. That environment for you as a high performer is when learning, challenge, and creative expression happen at the same time!
In your personal life, it is often easier to bring playfulness into the environment. Perhaps it’s something as simple as listening to music but really in any way or anywhere you want. You know yourself much better! Just give yourself the time to do it. How about you take 1 minute right now!
Did you do it? Your initial visceral response to this question determines your current level of playfulness in your life.
Sometimes it’s easier to be silly in the bedroom than in the boardroom but it’s a similar approach in professional or business settings.
Create an environment where learning, challenge, and self-expression happen all at once and you’ll see your entire team light up!
Are you a high performer or a former pro athlete that is a business owner or an entrepreneur?
Whether you already run a business or dream of starting one, use these 5 guiding principles to create a business you love. It’s the most powerful guide I know for creative professionals.
CREATE a Business you LOVE with these 5 guiding principles:
- The eternally creative has nothing to learn.
- Inspiration only has one rule— you act on it when it comes.
- Have no filter between inspiration to implementation.
- There is no right or wrong in creation, only in information.
- Your only job is to create and share your creations.
The eternally creative has nothing to learn. Learning is linear; creativity is instantaneous. Every time you are stuck on “how to” and in search of an answer, you can flip the switch and create the answer. As long as you create, you have nothing to learn.
Inspiration only has one rule — you act on it when it comes. The gap between inspiration to action is where all great ideas die.
Most great ideas do not die in application but in the mind of those who had them. Acting on inspiration when it comes takes courage.
Acting on inspiration when it comes is an art; living your life in that way is a constant practice. You can only inspire others if you act on your own inspiration– now, not next week!
Have no filter between inspiration to implementation. Not only do most people not act on inspiration when it comes but before they act, they process, change, and filter it through the mind. Inspiration always comes in its perfect form, it is your duty to act on it not only when it comes but as it is! Do not let the wiring of your mind, with its fear, stress, and self-doubt filter pure, raw, and powerful inspiration!
There is no right or wrong in creation, only in information. Because we have been taught to rely on answers, not creations, we look at things in right/wrong terms. This is how we have been conditioned to think at home, at school, as athletes, and as leaders.
Information is based on facts, creation is based on self-expression of love and beauty. When we look at information, we can say that it is right or wrong but we cannot say right or wrong on creation. Creation can only be right! It’s mostly the creator that judges its own creations to be wrong, not good enough, or not worthy of sharing. The moment you let go of any judgemental perception about your creations and creative process, you’ll find yourself in a much better creative flow.
Your only job is to create and share your creations. As much as people hold themselves back from acting on the inspiration they also hold themselves back from sharing their creations. You are not allowed to judge your creation, to try to determine its value in other people’s lives, to hide it in the drawer because it’s not perfect. You have been given a gift as a creator and your job is to share it, not hide it in the dark room of your discomfort. Share it, as it is, before it’s done, before it’s perfect. It is other people’s job to value your creations, not yours! When you go to a museum, you like some of the art and do not like other art but you do not say “this is wrong!” A piece you walk by almost unnoticed some else paid millions of dollars for it. Some people may like it, some not, and a few will pay you exactly what you want for it because it would change their lives! Share it and keep sharing, it’s the only way these people will find your creations.
And well, what do you think Christoph felt at the end of our session together? “Now I feel alive, clear, and amused! I made a commitment: I’m not allowing myself to do anything where I don’t come back beaming!”
Christoph’s intersection of playfulness and creativity was music and sports — what’s yours?
You do not change the world by judging your creations, you change it by sharing them!